Watsonians Preview

Watsonians Preview

154224-JLP-WatsvStewMel-0150Myreside is the venue for our final league game of the season this Saturday, 22nd March. The prize for victory (or various other combinations – too convoluted to contemplate) is a play-off against the ninth placed team in the Premiership.

Recent matches between the sides have been very close and exciting, with last minute scores and all sorts of incidents and twists and turns. Saturday will be no different.

The table below shows how close these games have been over the last couple of years, but the personnel have changed so much that ‘past performance should not be used as an indication of future returns’ .

The only exception to that rule is the home leg of the current campaign – last October – as the sides will be pretty similar. 

October 2013 Inverleith Stewart's Melville 14 Watsonians 13 National League
February 2013 Myreside Watsonians 10 Stewart's Melville 24 National League
September 2012 Inverleith Stewart's Melville 12 Watsonians 16 National League
February 2012 Inverleith Stewart's Melville 32 Watsonians 30 Premier 'B'

 Should you wish to relive any of the matches, follow this link.

Stewart’s Melville go into this match on an undefeated run of thirteen matches, and, in the course of this run, have defeated every team in the League in all conditions – so confidence and team spirit must be high.

Watsonians started the league campaign in fine style, but have stuttered somewhat – particularly against Kelso, when, in sticky conditions, they could not get ball to play the rugby they wanted. They will be confident that, with a firmer surface, they are a match for anyone.

The Stew/Mel scrum has developed into a formidable weapon, but the Myreside faithful will be pinning their hopes on Mark Rennie to achieve an advantage on the touchline. Many of the Watsonians plays in our last match came from driven lineouts. Rhys Morgan, our tighthead prop, unfortunately misses the match as a result of a citing decision following the Kelso match.

If Watsonians have been unpredictable, Stewart’s Melville have been dogged, grinding out results against Dundee, Selkirk, Boroughmuir and, laterally, Kelso. 

In the three-quarters for Watsonians, McKean (if fit) and Ferguson are a real threat, along with Steele in attack. Matt Morrell, Alan Whittingham and Mike Hanning (now a very accomplished player) offer plenty of options for Nick McCashin and Stewart’s Melville.

It’s a derby, though, and the old cliché about derby matches – ‘the form book goes out the window – it depends who wants it more’ – will hold true.

What is also true is there will be twenty young men on each side going ‘hell for leather’ to try and win the match.

It will be a great occasion, and your part in the proceedings is to arrive at Myreside by 3 pm and create an atmosphere for Stewart’s Melville – the boys deserve it!     

 Gav Calder

Match photo by John Preece / JLP-Photography

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